Northern Coast

Oman's northern coast showcases a couple of the nation's beauty spots, including a set of lagoons referred to locally as Bandar Jissah (home to attractive resorts) and Bandar Khayran (a popular anchorage for boat trips from Muscat). The coast itself assumes something of a split personality in this region: south of Muscat (around Al Seifa and Qurayat) the sea is often rough, with high waves pounding against rocky coves that hint at the high drama of the Indian Ocean, while west of Muscat, near the typical Omani town of Seeb, the waters share the more limpid characteristics of the Gulf as they flood gently across limitless stretches of shell-studded sands.

Inland, the desert heat bakes the scenic village of Mazara, the location of Oman's only permanent reservoir. Offering retreats from the city, scenic landscapes, water sports and cultural insights, the attractions of the region are easily accessible as day trips from Muscat.